Dec 30, 2007

Predictions 2008

As promised, here are our 2008 political predictions from the "Here and Now" show. I wore a tie, so you know it was a big deal. Things get ugly during the credits, when Jamie assaults me with a balloon.

Dec 27, 2007

2008 Prediction O-Rama

Last week, my colleague Jamie Kuhn and I filmed a humorous "2008 predictions" segment for the Here and Now show on Wisconsin Public Television. Check your local listings, but the show generally airs on Friday nights and Sunday mornings. It's the big year-end extravaganza, so it's not to be missed.

As always, I'll post video when it's available. We filmed it so long ago, I forgot what I even said.

KC Masterpiece

Madison-area residents may remember our friend and former Channel 27 news anchor Christa Dubill, who recently moved to Kansas City to host the NBC affiliate's morning show there. She is now setting the Kansas City nerdosphere ablaze with her new blog, which warns of things such as how we're being ripped off by the scourge of shrinking pizzas. She also appears to have Santa's back.

Debatable Christianity

I spent a good deal of Christmas watching a fascinating debate on C-Span between Dinesh D'Souza and Christopher Hitchens regarding the existence of God and formal religion. It's no "Bret Michaels Rock of Love," but compelling viewing nonetheless.

You can watch it here. It's an hour and a half, but worth the time.

Dec 25, 2007

Yule Blog, 2007

Another Christmas come and gone.

My kids are getting to be the age where they're super-hyped for the big day. My two-year old son is a present opening machine - he attacks giftwrapping with a cold, steely, uncompromising venom that you see normally reserved for mob hitmen. That thin little piece of paper is all that separates him from the possibility of untold joy. If you've ever seen cheetahs attack a gazelle on Wild Kingdom, it bears a resemblance to my boy ripping into his pile of gifts. Let's hope he shows as much enthusiasm for Algebra down the road.

Here's a video of my son from Christmas Eve - as you can see, he sings, tells jokes, does impressions... in Hollywood, I believe they call that a "triple threat." I even left out his impression of The Count from Sesame Street. Danny Gans better be watching his back.

Of course, all that Christmas morning means for his dad is that I have to wake up at the butt-crack of dawn to document this monument to avarice on videotape. It's kind of a bummer, really - I'm the one half asleep on the couch, but it's this illegal immigrant "Santa Claus" that gets all the credit for the gifts. I think parents should unionize to put this "Big Claus" out of business.

As for me, I got what I asked for - Guitar Hero III for the Playstation. When I tried to explain my gift to my mother over the phone, I got silence followed by, " old are you, again?"

It is a great game, though - it's impossible for me to play it without taking "the stance." It's the typical rock star pose, with one leg in front of the other, which aids in the convulsing back and forth while making musical magic with your little toy guitar. (This video about says it all.) After playing about 10 songs, it occurred to me that I have these things called "children" that apparently need to be fed and cared for. Somewhere down the road, my daughter's going to be working the pole at Beansnappers, but I'll have the high score on Guitar Hero. So the years of neglect will all be worth it.

Despite my enthusiasm for my new video game, this was a really strange Christmas for me. When making out the list of things I really wanted, it occurred to me that anything that I really want can't be bought. Almost all of it is stuff I have to go out and achieve on my own. Having a happy family, losing weight, making more time to read books, achieving more at work, the Packers in the Super Bowl - if anybody knows where I can write a check to make these things happen, let me know. Otherwise, it might mean that I might actually be growing up.

Back to Guitar Hero.

SIDE NOTE: In November, my friend Stephen Thompson at NPR drove all the way from Washington D.C. to Wisconsin while listening to nothing but Christmas CDs. Here's his written review. He also appeared on Milwaukee Public Radio's "Lake Effect" show to discuss the experience. Good stuff.

Dec 19, 2007

Doyle's Christmas Gaffe

Yesterday, Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle praised the creation of a $175 million college fund by donors John and Tashia Morgridge. In his announcement, Doyle said the new fund was "the perfect Christmas present."

Doyle's comments can only be taken one way - that he doesn't want Jews to get an education.

Someone get Annie Laurie Gaylor on the phone! A public official uttered the word "Christmas!"

Dec 17, 2007

Will Scab for Money

Dear NBC Money,

Well it looks like the writers' strike is dragging on longer than expected. But the good news is that two of my favorites, Leno and Conan, are crossing the picket lines and coming back to film more shows. Since the late night funnymen won't have their union joke writers, you could use some scabs. I hereby offer the combined services of the gang here at the Trousers.

When I was six years old, I decided I had two goals in life - to make people laugh with the things I wrote (in crayon) and to do some union-busting. These two goals could be achieved in one fell swoop! But you don't care about my goals, you care about the bottom line. And God bless ya for that. So in the interest of you eventually paying me to write some ad revenue-generating monologues for you, here are some freebies:

"So it's the Christmas season - everyone got their shopping done? (Pause for audience response.) I'm buying everyone on my list DVDs of Al Gore's movie "An Inconvenient Truth," you know the film about how the earth is getting too hot. At least I will be as soon as I can find a store that isn't buried in snow and ice. (Pause for uproarious laughter.)

And speaking of frigid, I see the Hillary Clinton campaign brain trust is crafting a plan to warm up her image of being a cold, calculating, insencere, political schemer. Nothing like a calculating, insencere scheme to prove you aren't a calculating, insencere political schemer. (Pause for more audience laughter/pants wetting.)"

I could go on, but I'll need some financial incentive, see? Anyway, dig around in our Trousers and I'm sure you'll find plenty to make you laugh.

Have your people call my people.

- Dr. S

Dec 16, 2007

Christmas Shopping Follies

For some reason, I felt the need to go Christmas shopping on Saturday night. Normally, this would be like saying, "for some reason, I decided to pull the bones out of my legs and run a mile." But off I went in the snow, and here are a couple observations:

At Barnes and Noble, some 40-year old woman's cell phone went off, and the ringtone was not only deafening, but it was some ridiculous ghetto booty music. I sat there with my mouth agape while she clawed at her purse as if a kitten was suffocating inside. Finally, she got it turned off. Honest to God - these ridiculous ringtones should come with a warning - "If you add this to your phone, SOMEONE MIGHT CALL YOU IN PUBLIC." She acted as if it was a total surprise that someone called her. Come to think of it, I am too.

When I got to the register at Barnes and Noble, they hit me up to donate to some charity for homeless kids or something. I knew this was coming, as I had heard the whole script delivered to the previous thirty customers in line. I know the whole purpose of harrassing people to give to this phony charity is to make people think Barnes and Noble cares about kids, but all it does is make the customers feel like total a-holes when they decline. Would you want all your customers walking out looking sullen, with their shoulders slumped?

As I got to the parking lot, I realized that I had no idea where I parked. I walked around for 15 minutes in the cold until I found my car. When I saw it, I realized I got a great spot way in the front, and gave myself a congratulatory fist-pump. Then it occurred to me that the whole purpose of having such a great spot was cancelled out by the 15 minutes I had been walking around.

I walked over to the mall and entered through Boston Store. Near the door, they have "Green Bay Packers - 2007 NFC North Champions" shirts. I wondered who would ever buy one of these shirts before the season is over. Think about it - let's say the Packers go on to win the Super Bowl. Then you're stuck with a shirt that celebrates the least of the Pack's accomplishments. Wouldn't you look kind of dopey wearing a shirt that said "Packers - 1996 NFC Central Champions?" Wouldn't people be like, "uhhhh.... didn't they win the Super Bowl that year?" Think people are going to get "Mitt Romney - 2008 Iowa Caucus Winner" t-shirts printed up?

I also get a kick out of cosmetics counters. All the employees back there are wearing white lab coats - as if they have Bunsen burners and lab rats back there. Like one day we're going to see a headline that says "University of Wisconsin, Clinique Counter researchers team up on life-saving adult stem cell breakthrough."

And who are these women who sit there and have cosmetics applied to their face while hundreds of people walk by? Isn't that kind of a personal thing? Can any man imagine standing there while a Gillette salesman shaved him in public? On second thought - don't answer that. Same goes for these people who get massages at the mall. How is this possibly relaxing?

Finally, one more Christmas pet peeve of mine - those dopey commercials where some husband buys a Lexus for his wife and has it sitting in the driveway with a big bow on it when she gets home. Has this ever actually happened in the history of humanity?

There is no formula that can calculate the amount of trouble I would be in if I were to buy my wife a Lexus for Christmas. Let's just say her reaction would be less than ideal, and would likely involve bruising. Of course, nothing says "I love you" than committing your family to five years of crippling debt.

(Peter) King of the Turds

Of course, the most objectionable part of the NBC "Football Night in America" show on Sunday nights is the way they shove Keith Olbermann down our throats. Can you imagine if Fox had Sean Hannity doing highlights?

But the thing that gets on my nerves the most is the segment they give to Sports Illustrated reporter Peter King. Every time he quotes a player, he has to mention that he talked to the player personally. It's always "I just got off the phone with Brett Favre twenty minutes ago," or "I was joking around with Peyton Manning after the game," or whatever. How about you just tell us what he said, instead of trying to show us how important you are because players talk to you personally? He does it every time he opens his mouth. Ack!

Dec 14, 2007

My Attempt to Make You Hate Me... if you don't already:

Dec 13, 2007

The Gagne Conundrum

With today's release of the Mitchell report on steroid use in baseball, Brewer fans have to do a little soul searching. Eric Gagne, who the Brewers just signed to a one-year, $10 million contract, is named in the report, allegedly buying human growth hormone in 2004. It appears many Brewer fans are willing to exhibit a little "moral flexibility" with regard to their newest reliever.

At the very least, fans should question the wisdom of spending $10 million on a player whose reputation was forged primarily when he was alleged to have been on steroids. Gagne is a three-time all star who won the National League Cy Young award in 2003, and the Brewers had to know that he had steroids in his past. Even Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein knew when he traded for Gagne last year. In an e-mail to a scout, Epstein said, "I know the Dodgers think he was a steroid guy," and the scout responded, "Some digging on Gagne and steroids IS the issue... Mentality without the plus weapons and without steroid help probably creates a large risk in bounce back durability and ability to throw average while allowing the changeup to play as it once did . . . Personally, durability (or lack of) will follow Gagne . ."

While every Brewer fan wants to see the team succeed, how can they back a cheater? If Gagne was still pitching for the Dodgers, would they be willing to cut him so much slack? Remember all the vitriol aimed at Barry Bonds in Milwaukee for eclipsing Hank Aaron's home run record? How is Gagne any different?

People who think the whole steroid controversy is overblown say that HGH wasn't banned by major league rules at the time, so it's no big deal that players were using them. In fact, it is actually a very big deal.

As pointed out by Mitchell, steroids have been banned by the league since the 1991 collective bargaining agreement. The problem is, the league didn't begin actually testing for them until 2003. For that, the league and the union are both to blame. Furthermore, there still isn't a test for HGH, so players could still be using it undetected now. And it has always been a violation of federal law to obtain HGH without a prescription.

To say that the players shouldn't be punished because the league wasn't testing for HGH at the time is ridiculous. First of all, they were cheating. Second of all, they were violating federal law. Thirdly, they made a mockery of the record books, which is the one thread that connects generations of baseball fans.

So should Gagne be given amnesty for his steroid use?

Of course not. Just because something isn't in the baseball rule book (even though obtaining any prescription medication without a prescription was), doesn't mean it shouldn't be a punishable offense. If a player murdered someone, should it have to be in the league's rules to suspend them? (I am not equating murder and HGH use, incidentally - although HGH is even worse, in a way, because it affects the integrity of the game).

Additionally, there's no rule that says Bud Selig can only punish players who violated something specifically proscribed by major league rules. Selig can do whatever he wants, pursuant to the "best interests of baseball" clause in the league rules. Is there really any question that punishing cheaters who have erased the league's history is in the game's best interest? Should the fact that Gagne owns a Cy Young award that may have been won by someone else be left to stand?

There are those that will say Gagne's steroid use took place years ago, so there's no need to punish him now. Actually, we don't know that Gagne stopped using steroids years ago, since he was allegedly using a substance for which there is no test. But think about someone who robs a bank - the criminal justice system doesn't just order the bank robber to repay what he stole and call it all square. There are penalties for bad judgement and bad behavior - both of which Gagne displayed in his apparent receipt of steroids.

I recall being bewildered by San Francisco Giants fans who stood by Barry Bonds just because he was "their guy." It makes no sense to judge a player's character by the uniform he happens to wear. It would then be the height of hypocrisy to now cheer for Gagne - a bad guy on a team I love.

Currently, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel is running a poll of whether people care if Gagne used steroids, as long as he helps the team. The fact that the poll is running at a dead-even 50% to 50% split is dispiriting. It shows that there are too many people to make moral concessions based on their own rooting interest. And that is a shame.

While there's no question this report is an attempt by Bud Selig to cover his own tail during the Steroid Era, it doesn't mean that the players named in the report don't deserve to be punished.

Some other thoughts:

There's no question that the names of the players on the list are just the tip of the iceberg. Essentially, it's a list of players who were dumb enough to buy steroids with a personal check. But criticizing these players only because they have been identified doesn't make it unfair because some will go unpunished. If they did it, they did it - the fact that some are going to get away with it is completely irrelevant.

If ESPN was do die-hard about getting to the bottom of the steroid story, they could have looked down the desk at Baseball Tonight and asked Fernando Vina. As a commenter on said, "Fernando Vina does not surprise me. You don't maintain that perfect a goatee without performance enhancers."

The only people I marginally feel bad for are the players on the list who essentially were life-long minor league players. The message: these guys sucked so bad, they couldn't make the majors even by cheating.

The argument that you'll hear players use that they never tested positive is completely fraudulent. Marion Jones used that argument. She's headed for prison.

If anyone in the report is wrongfully accused, they can feel free to sue major league baseball. Of course, doing so will open their past up to all kinds of discovery. So don't expect that to happen any time soon.

I'm also tired of people portraying steroid use as some kind of "victimless" crime. The only difference between steroids and a bank robbery is that players use needles instead of guns to steal statistics they didn't deserve. In a lot of cases, these players made millions of dollars they shouldn't have - and it's not like they're going to be giving it back after these allegations.

Imagine if your boss found out someone in your office had been stealing money, but didn't know who it was. Immediately, everyone in your workplace was under a cloud of suspicion. And the boss announces that because of all the money that went missing, nobody would be getting raises next year. Would you think that would be okay? Of course not. But that's exactly what steroid users have done to baseball - they've stolen money they didn't deserve (money that the fans pay in ticket prices, FYI), and they've put everyone under a cloud of suspicion.

Rocket in Hot Water

ESPN is reporting that Roger Clemens will be named in the Mitchell Steroid Report. I believe I had that one. From May 7th of this year:

Incidentally, one more note on the Rocket - in the steroid era, when something happens that nobody has ever seen before, it's impossible to believe it. We may never know what substances Clemens was taking (there's no test for human growth hormone), but it's awfully coincidental that a 45 year old can go out and throw 95 miles per hour - something completely unheard of before he did it. And if someone ever documents his cheating? I'll have just as much vitriol for Clemens as I do Bonds.

Dec 12, 2007

Des Moines Republican Presidential Debate Recap

At Least Get My Name Right

The "mainstream media" takes a lot of heat for sloppy reporting, but in this case, it is warranted:

Hollywood actress Jessica Alba is expecting her first child with boyfriend Cash Warren.

See how they blatantly mis-spelled the name? It's C-H-R-I-S S-C-H-N-E-I-D-E-R," not "CASH WARREN." Duh.

Dec 11, 2007

A Special Christmas Message From Angel

In the times in which we live, we need more positive messages to keep us inspired. This is especially so during the holidays, where people of all nationalities, colors and creeds should set aside their differences and embrace the common bond of humanity.

Such a soul-warming holiday message is found in the following clip, where 9th grader Angel reminds us of one the most simple rules a civil society should promote: "Don't Hate."

Well put, Angel. And may God bless you during this holiday season, too.

Dec 10, 2007

My Favorite Albums of 2007

As is the case with any reputable hipster wanna-be, I compile a mental list of my top albums throughout the year. Naturally, this list has a shelf life of about a week, until I read everyone else's list and realize their picks are all better than mine.

As usual, I am a terrible music reviewer, so I'll write a little blurb about each album on here - but don't be looking for anything too erudite - I can't explain why I like certain music, I just do. I'll leave the reviewing to the professionals.

And here we go....

10. Loney, Dear – Loney Noir

Swede alert! From the PopMatters review: "... the music is delicate, building to momentous peaks and accented by sturdy hooks. The key to these songs are gentle arrangements that build organically from the guitar based centers. Horns, reeds, organs, and careful backing vocals never overpower the songs but are used like curtains around a window." Sure, I'll go along with that.

9. Jens Lekman – Night Falls over Kortedala

More Swedes! When first hearing about this album, I thought “Oh, great – another Swedish singer/songwriter.” But I was surprised by how well “Kortedala” blends deadpan humor and chamber pop. Songs like “The Opposite of Hallelujah,” “If I Could Cry (It Would Feel Like This)” and “Your Arms Around Me” are impossible not to hum after the third listening.

8. Los Campesinos! – Sticking Fingers Into Sockets

Impossibly catchy and irrepressibly bratty. Gets knocked down a couple rungs because it’s only a six-song EP (running at 15 minutes), but the songs are strong enough to warrant this effusive of a recommendation.

7. Radiohead – In Rainbows

I can’t agree with my friends who claim that somewhere in this album lies the cure to cancer (or even halitosis), but it is certainly good enough to slide into the Top 10. And trust me, after inadvertently paying 40 bucks for it, I was hoping it would fundamentally change my life in some way. The only really change it made was to rob me of the opportunity to go to Wendy’s a couple more times. “House of Cards” gives me chills.

6. The Broken West – I Can’t Go On, I’ll Go On

Normally, my lists have a few albums that are more experimental, with long, sprawling obtuse songs. Not so this year, and The Broken West exemplifies that trend. A strong collection of short, catchy pop songs with a southern rock flavor.

5. Of Montreal – Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?

I don't dance, yet I can appreciate the booty-shaking appeal of such songs as "Heimdalsgate Like a Promethean Curse" and "A Sentence of Sorts in Kongsvinger" - two of the best songs of the year, despite sounding as if they were a product of an Abba tribute band. I actually forgot this album came out this year, as one of my friends gave me a bootleg copy in mid-2006. I'm not sure how that's relevant in any way.

4. Page France - …And the Family Telephone

The little album that could. This album attempts to correct the scandalous dearth of xylophones in our nation's indie albums. With its jangly guitars and heavy use of glockenspiels, it seems that this album could have been made in any basement in America. Of course, the same could be said of meth.

3. Arcade Fire – Neon Bible
It's the way of things in America - when someone jumps on to the public scene with universal praise (as Arcade Fire did with "Funeral" in 2005), it immediately becomes fashionable to be part of the backlash. While derided by much of the horn-rimmed glasses wearing mafia as being inferior to Funeral, this album is perfect from the first note on.

2. LCD Soundsystem – Sounds of Silver
A perfect reminder that electronic music doesn't have to take itself so seriously. A genre-hopping masterpiece that my kids also enjoy dancing to. So they have that going for them. Which is nice. "Someone Great" is probably my favorite song of the year.

1. Andrew Bird – Armchair Apocrypha
The main test of whether an album can be my best of the year is how hard it was to delete it from my iPod. I couldn't pry this one out of my playlists with a crowbar. (In fact, iTunes reports to me that my three most listened-to albums this year are all from Andrew Bird.) A perfect blend of experimentation, pop hooks, and obtuse lyrics. And his epic show at the Memorial Union Theater didn't hurt, either (even though this album was a top three lock even before then).

Some more really good albums from this year:

Band of Horses – Cease to Begin
Bill Callahan - Woke on a Whaleheart
Norfolk & Western - The Unsung Colony
Band of Bees – Octopus
My Teenage Stride - Ears Like Golden Bats
Lily Allen - Alright, Still
Fiery Furnaces – Widow City
The Go! Team – Proof of Youth
Idlewild – Make Another World
Panda Bear – Person Pitch
Rilo Kiley – Under the Blacklight
Shout Out Louds – Our Ill Wills
Voxtrot – Voxtrot
Velvet Revolver – Libertad

Best Albums From Other Years That I Heard This Year:

Figurines - Skeleton
Heartless Bastards - Stairs and Elevators
Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
British Sea Power - The Decline of British Sea Power
Fiona Apple - Extraordinary Machine
Golden Smog - Another Fine Day
Guillemots - From the Cliffs (EP)

Biggest Disappointments:

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Some Loud Thunder
Fountains of Wayne - Traffic and Weather
Iron & Wine - The Shepherd's Dog
The Shins - Wincing the Night Away

You can check out the Muzzle of Bees top 30 here - there seems to be a reasonable amount of overlap.

Metacritic also has posted their best-reviewed albums of the year here.

Dec 9, 2007

Mentoring the Youth of Today

UW-Milwaukee Student and Frontpage Milwaukee writer Rebecca Kontowicz asked me to be a guest on her radio show class project. She apparently is under the mistaken impression that I am someone important. Always wanting to help the youth of today, I agreed. You can listen here.

Dec 7, 2007

What Does The Following Mean?


Hint: There better be dozens of these signs at Miller Park on April 21st.

Further Hint: Bottom of the Fifth.

Dec 5, 2007

The Great Debate: Frankfurter Edition

While presidential candidates continue their banal debates about things of no consequence, we here at "The Trousers" have decided to institute a new "Point-Counterpoint" feature to debate the things that really matter.

The other day, Dr. Emil Shuffhausen and I were walking down State Street, when I posited one of my more controversial, and previously unstated, theories. I told him that I thought the bun constituted about 80% of the taste of a hot dog. He immediately gave me the stink eye, and accused me of only saying that to be unnecessarily provocative.

The challenge thus being issued, we decided to take this debate public. We figured this was more constructive than settling things by taking turns slapping each other in the face with our gloves. Here is my buttal, followed by the Doctor's rebuttal. Any doctoral student looking to use this topic for their dissertation must first get permission from the authors.

PRO: "The importance of the bun is often understated"

By Chris Schneider

Who among us can resist a nice warm, steamed, poppy-seed bun? The answer? Nobody.

The bun is really the basis from which the rest of the hot dog derives its taste. Think about it - you can take an average tasting dog and put it in a great bun, and suddenly you have a delicious frankfurter. Conversely, if you have a delicious hot dog wrapped in a crusty, dry bun, it ruins it completely. Your lips just can't get over being presented with such an inhospitable first impression.

As you can see, Dr. Shuffhausen is a hot dog novice, as evidenced by his contention that the bun only serves to protect one's hands from "mustard and ketchup." Any tube steak veteran will tell you that ketchup has no place near a hot dog, nor in any discussion thereof. To quote the Beastie Boys, his arguments are "cheaper than a hot dog with no mustard." Being lectured on hot dogs by such a novice is like being lectured on political correctness by Michael Richards.

Furthermore, Dr. Shuffhausen's position has been bought and sold by "Big Wiener." He clearly no longer represents the middle class taste buds of Wisconsin. His license to practice medicine should be immediately revoked.

I realize that taking this position (as well as my lack of a law degree) might very well hamper my chances of one day being a U.S. Supreme Court justice. But it needed to be said.

Vote bun '08.

CON: "No F***ing Way"

By Dr. Emil Shuffausen (of the Shuffhausen clinic in Vienna)

While I readily concede that the hot dog bun is rich in bunly goodness, my counterpoint is the exact opposite position of Mr. Schneider's. I submit that the taste importance ratio of a hot dog is 80:20 processed meat emulsion to bread.

While I know Mr. Schneider will just accuse me of being corrupt, the evidence supporting my position is, frankly (guffaw), overwhelming. In fact, I was willing to go face to face with Big Weiner - and who has the guts to do that?

The bun is the comparatively tasteless delivery vehicle that transports its more flavorful passenger to one's mouth without getting one's hands full of mustard and ketchup. (The "meat between bread" food delivery method was of course invented by John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich. Coincidentally, one of John Montagu's contemporaries, Albert Autumnbottom, 3rd Earl of Doritos, brought us the nacho cheese-flavored snack that so perfectly accompanies a sandwich.)

In a pinch, any old folded piece of bread can substitute for a bun. When eating a hot dog, can you tell the difference between a Brownberry hot dog bun and a Gardners hot dog bun? Me neither. However, suggesting that there is no difference between a Usinger's, a Klement's or and Oscar Mayer dog is liable to incite a fistfight in some parts of the state.

Finally, when legendary competitive eater Takeru Kobayashi squared off against the bear in the ultimate contest between man and beast, buns were not even on the table.

Case closed.

UPDATE: As a counter-rebuttal, Dr. Shuffhausen pointed out today that I am "firmly wedged inbetween the grasp of big buns."

Also, my wife and I went to a movie last night to celebrate her birthday. As we walked into Hilldale Mall, I was explaining to her my hot dog theory (she firmly sides with Shuffhausen). We passed a woman walking with her kids who obviously overheard my explanation. As we got about 30 feet away, the woman turned and yelled "HE'S RIGHT - IT'S ALL ABOUT THE BUN!" I immediately declared victory and took a lap around University Bookstore, high-fiving the employees.

A note to that wonderful woman - Dr. Shuffhausen has vowed to track you down at your home to provide a personal rebuttal.

Starting Up the "Machete" Oscar Buzz

The other night, I watched Robert Rodriguez' movie "Planet Terror." The best part of the film happened to be a fake trailer for the phony movie "Machete" that runs at the very beginning of the main feature.

The hypothetical plot goes something like this, as far as I can tell: An illegal immigrant is hired to kill an anti-illegal immigration senator, only to find out he was framed - so that the senator can make immigrants look bad by pointing to the fact that one tried to kill him. "Machete" then goes on a rampage of revenge, which leads to a lot of bloodshed and some classic tag lines.

Should this movie ever actually be made, the chances of me going to see it are exactly 100%.

Here's the trailer - and be warned, it is most certainly not safe for work. But it is hilarious.

Dec 4, 2007

The Mount Rushmore of Crazy People

Just when I thought my chain of posts featuring crazy constituent letters was coming to an end, this letter fell to me like manna from heaven. Several Capitol offices sent to to me, as it was sent to every state legislator in the United States.

Like great jazz, it displays improvisation based on the sound fundamentals of crazy people. It features many of the staples of great crazy people letters - the conspiracy theories, the personal vendettas, the incomprehensible CC list, and so on. But lest you think this is just your run-of-the-mill looney, skip ahead to the cartoon he drew to illustrate his problems with his lender. I'm not sure who the scariest villain is - although I would like to personally thank Mr. Mozillo for making this guy's life a living hell. Without it, he wouldn't have been inspired to create such a masterpiece.

Read it here (and as usual, click on the maginifying glass at the top right to make it bigger). You can scroll through the pages by using the arrows at the top. And make sure you're not drinking anything at the time.

Dec 2, 2007

Tired of the "Cranky" E-Mails

There's a topic known to all internet users that doesn't get nearly the discussion it deserves. In fact, as a worldwide threat, it is second only to al-Qaeda in terms of danger to America. It threatens to bring down the economy and cripple work productivity. I am talking, of course, about the worldwide scourge of penis e-mails.

For some reason, in the past week, I've been flooded with these damn e-mails. (And for my own sake, I hope everyone gets these - I would hate to think I am being singled out specifically by the penis enhancement industry.) Just in the last week, I've received some of these erudite beauties:

  • tired of pulling your pole? start taking penis pills today
  • In company ladies may declare, that man's skill as a lover is much more significant, than the length of his willy. But we all know, that privately, they confess to the contrary! In actual fact that massive pen!s is more mighty and exciting! MegaDik will help you to become more competitive as a lover!
  • Believe us, she will appreciate it very much to discover bigger one-eyed python in your pants!
  • stop paying for sex dummy! get all the girls with a big c**k
  • Impressive F***stick!

Notice these Mensa candidates have managed to completely confuse my spam filter by substituting a "!" for the "i" in "penis." There's an 80% chance my spam program was written by U.S. border security.

Obviously, someone must reply to these e-mails. Otherwise, why would anyone take the time to send them out to everyone in the world? Again, I hope everyone gets them - otherwise, I'm part of a select "penis database" kept in the basement of the Trilateral Commission, or they're being sent to me by someone from my health club.

Either way, these e-mails defy any standard of logic. First of all, as I've pointed out repeatedly, 98% of the hard work is finding someone who will actually want to be in the same room as your exposed weiner. Once you've convinced a woman that you're not storing anthrax in your penis, it's pretty much gravy from there on out. Its "tale of the tape" is pretty much a side issue.

That being said, how many guys are like "oh, man, the reason I can't meet girls is because my crank is too small?" It's actually more likely because they're still wearing a digital watch.

Furthermore, who are these hypothetical women that notice your penis size even before you meet? Put it this way - if the first thing a woman sees of yours is your love muscle, you better damn well have your credit card ready.

I'd just love to be there when a guy asks a girl out for the first time, and she says, "You know, Chris, I think you're a great guy and you're really smart and funny and everything, but... and I hate to say it... but your one-eyed python just isn't massive enough for me. In fact, I know this great website..."

On top of that, who are the remaining people in the world that think their "size" can be enhanced by some magic pills purchased on the internet? That's just crazy. Everyone knows that the only realistic way to "enhance" your manhood is to make all of the furniture in your apartment 20% smaller. Expensive, but effective.

Finally, how is it that with all the people working on worthwhile causes, the only junk e-mails I get are from scam artists? How come I never get spam from the "Save Darfur" people? Yet some guy in his basement working for the penis black market was able to track me down. How is it that the penis pill people have gotten their hands on the most powerful spamming program known to man - shouldn't this concern us a little bit? This is like Iran having nukes. Is INTERPOL too busy tracking down people copying DVDs in their basements?

Whenever they catch the bastards in charge of flooding my e-mail box with this junk, they better get the stiffest penalties possible.

(Too easy, I know... I could go on all day...)

UPDATE: Honest to God, as I was writing this post, I got the following e-mail:

"If your warrior of love is too small, you may lose this war"

Dec 1, 2007

We Have Our Tenth Rule of the Road

Congratulations to Casper for suggesting "The Timid Merger" round out the top ten list of people on the road that drive a guy nuts. There were several good entries, but this one was my favorite.

Just what is the mindset of The Timid Merger anyway? "Hmm, traffic's moving pretty fast on the highway. I'd better try merging with those cars doing seventy by going thirty."

Equally rotten, though, is "The Overly-Aggressive Merger." He's the guy that just flies onto the highway sans blinker who just expects you're going to make way for him. Appropriate punishment for him is to spin him out by nudging the corner of his back bumper. I see this work all the time on World's Scariest Police Video's. (Quick side bar on World's Scariest Police Video's, how totally awesome is the guy that narrates that show? He could make a million dollars in a week if he offered to be the voice on people's answering machine for ten bucks.)